"They were come to the town nearly at midnight."
I have found this construction several times and am not sure about it. What does it mean? (Well, I know what it means but what bothers me is that it just looks strange for me and I cannot find the rule it is based on.)
Dwelling on the subject a little longer, you could possibly change "come" to "coming".
An example being:
"They were coming to town for the event but had to cancel when they missed their train."
In some verbs of motion and change (e.g. come, go, become), it was once customary to use "to be" as the auxiliary instead of "to have".
You still find it in modern texts, sometimes: it has an archaic air (slightly Biblical, perhaps).
All the best,
PS: Thus "they were come" means "they had come".
Thanks for your sage advice, MrP